Superbugs Link between Animals and Humans

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Researchers found bacterial strains of MRSA staphylococcus adapts with time in humans and animals.

A team of researchers at the University of Helsinki studied and mapped the evolution of staphylococcus in laboratory. The researchers were involved in sequencing the whole genomes of the superbugs that was collected from animals and humans to study the factors that made the bacteria adjust to its new host organisms, over extended period.

The bacterial strains of MRSA staphylococcus are mostly resistant to majority of the antibiotics and carry high potential to cause severe infections. MRSA staphylococcus is also called as superbug. According to the genome analysis, the scientists found humans to be the original hosts of the bacteria, and after studying the DNA changes in the superbugs, they observed that staphylococcus learnt to colonize domestic animals lately.

The work was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on September 2018. The researchers found enough evidence that supports cows as the source for strains of staphylococcus causing MRSA infections in humans around the world.

“Our observations give emphasis to the importance of detailed epidemiological monitoring, so that strains with the potential to cause epidemics can be discovered as early as possible,” says Jukka Corander, professor at the University of Helsinki and author of the study.

The researchers analyzed detail genome mapping and discovered that as the bacteria travel from one host to another species, they imbibe new genes in order to live in the new environment in the long term. This process of hijacking makes the bacteria resistant to common hosts such as antibiotics, and thus they act as superbugs. They hope that their findings might help in developing new strategies to check the occurrence and transferring of diseases in humans.

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